Representative Advisory Councils

How we support students who are struggling financially

15 May 2022 15:24 | Representative Advisory Councils

Just a few more weeks to go until the academic year is over. While the last few steps take the most effort, they are often the most rewarding. Here are some things that I have been up to recently. One of them is how we can improve our support for students who are struggling financially.

Together with parties like the Student Affairs Office, the Legal Consultation Centre and the Administration Centre, we have made a start with an improvement plan to address financial inequality. The aim is to support students who are struggling financially by providing information and training courses, for instance about budgeting and money matters. We also show secondary-school students the financial consequences of studying. Although we have been providing information to secondary-school students for a while, this is the first time that we have included the financial aspect in existing programmes.

The improvement plan also addresses policy. Among other things, we need to pay more attention to compensation schemes and how we deal with them. What do we think as AUAS community of programmes charging students 900 euros for study-related excursions, or charging money for attending a course worth study credits? And if a student has no money for a laptop, is there something AUAS can do?

We already know that a number of students who qualify for those schemes are not using them, so we need to make these students more aware that the schemes exist.

One last thing I want to mention: I would like to call on everyone to vote in the elections for the Central Representative Advisory Council . All AUAS students and staff members – including you – can vote in these elections. The Central Representative Advisory Council is made up of 12 students and 12 staff members who hold regular discussions with the Executive Board. A new Council will be installed on 1 September, and you can have a say in who will be on it. Visit the voting website, read more about the candidates or vote for someone you know. Just do it!